Not-so-Kitchen-Tour | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Thirty (!)

Sunday 30th: Kitchen Tour
Now the month is concluding, show us where the magic has been happening!

Wow, here we are at the end of September and this year’s VeganMoFo! I have to say, my laidback approach to the themes this year made it all so much easier and more enjoyable. I never felt crunched for time or stressed to come up with a post. What a relief! Who could’ve guessed that going easy on yourself and not requiring perfection would make for a more enjoyable experience?! <insert eyeroll emoji, because duh>

Anyway, today is the odd day out; it’s a Sunday and thus the start of a new week (and theme), but also the last day of MoFo. The provided prompt asks participants to give a kitchen tour, but I did that pretty comprehensively last year. Not much has changed since then, except for one minor tragedy.

Dining room detailsSo… about those custom-built, super-neat corner shelves. Turns out they maaay not have been securely fastened to the wall. One day late last year, we heard a massive crash come from the dining room. We rushed in to survey the damage and found that the top shelf had fallen off the wall, releasing the big red Pyrex casserole dish (which had a pretty Friendship pattern on the lid) and the smaller Fire King casserole dish to meet their makers upon the floor. Luckily, the glass used in Pyrex (and, apparently, Fire King) dishes doesn’t really shatter, so we were able to pick up large pieces of the broken crockery rather than need to sweep up tiny shards. (Good news for our pups’ delicate paws, of course!) We cleaned up the mess relatively quickly and then made sure the shelves were more securely fastened. Since then we’ve had no mishaps, and I replaced the casserole dishes (RIP) with two small Butterprint-patterned dishes on that top shelf.

Otherwise, the kitchen is mostly the same as in those photos. We’ve added two more wooden spice racks from Ikea, and the beverages that top our bar have changed a bit, but we haven’t done any major remodels. (We’ve only been in the house for two and a half years, and the kitchen is still very modern and functional.) We’re hoping to replace the floral canvases in the dining room with a gallery wall in the next month or so, but we don’t have quite enough photos to respectably fill the space yet, and I don’t want it to look bare.

So, that’s the kitchen (and dining room)! And with that, VeganMoFo comes to a close. I’ve got some great posts planned for the weeks and months ahead, so don’t worry; I won’t be going silent. I’m also heading to Tallinn and Helsinki later this week, so you can expect full reports of the vegan options on offer in those two cities when I return. :) Happy MoFo, y’all!


VegFests! | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Twenty-Nine

Week Four: Occasions Week
We love a good celebration! This week focuses on those special occasions in your life.

Aaagh! I had hoped to have a really great celebratory post today. Roots, our favorite vegan-friendly grocery store, was hosting a small vegan festival at the location closest to us. The store is also somewhat close to the facility where I’ve been visiting my hospice patients on Saturday mornings, so I figured that I’d hit up the festival after my visits (instead of swinging by the farmers market like I usually do). I planned to snap some photos of the exhibitors and vendors, pick up a yummy lunch for Steven and me, and maybe get one of the swag bags they were handing out to the first 100 visitors. Final celebratory post done and dusted.

Well. It was not to be. I drove the 15 or so minutes from the facility to Roots, only to find that it was a madhouse. They’d requisitioned part of the parking lot for the event, meaning the already-too-small parking lot for that strip of stores was super crowded. There was a massive line forming (for food, I assume), and I could see that people were parking on side streets already. I did one loop of the parking lot and got the heck out of the there. I was hungry, it was crowded, and I was not in the mood to navigate the situation! (Of course, I’m glad the event was popular, but maybe the location was not the best!)

As I drove home, I pondered what to post about while trying not to get too annoyed that I’d missed the farmers market for this bust. Hmm… maybe Steven and I could switch our plans, take advantage of the warm weather, and go somewhere for lunch. We could sit outside and I could share something about the simple joys of a good meal on a nice day. But then I looked at the clock; it was already nearly 1 p.m. and there was no way we’d get out to lunch and back again by 2. Why did we need to be back by 2? Well, Verizon (our internet service provider) accidentally cut our internet yesterday (Friday) while doing work next door (…) and couldn’t send someone out to fix it till “between 2 and 4 p.m.” today, Saturday. Yes, they broke our internet and couldn’t fix it for 24 hours. Steven works from home (…using the internet…) so his Friday afternoon was a bust. I was pretty livid that Verizon couldn’t send anyone sooner and contacted customer service on Twitter and on their website, but of course they couldn’t change it.

Anyway, home I went, where I whipped up a quick quinoa and sweet potato dish while we waited for Verizon. I typed up this post (internet-less) and thought about what else to share. Why not talk about vegfests of the past?

Me in front of the Vegan Treats tent with lots of vegan doughnuts in the background!

That’s me about five years ago, thrilled to be at the D.C. VegFest and ready to stand in line for some amazing goodies from Vegan Treats. VT was new to me when we moved to the east coast, but it is an absolute staple at vegfests ‘round here! People will stand in line for literally hours to get a box of eclairs, cake pops, cheesecake slices, whoopee pies, doughnuts, and other beautifully decorated sugarbombs. (The Maryland area is not exactly bustling with vegan bakeries, so we take what we can get.)

This year, the Washington D.C. VegFest was cancelled when Hurricane Florence threatened to wreak havoc and D.C. declared a state of emergency. For a few days we waited for the storm to hit, but then it… didn’t. The Saturday of VegFest dawned clear, sunny, and perfectly temperate. A real bummer. Though I don’t go every year, this would’ve been the perfect day for it!

We also sometimes visit Baltimore VegFest, including a couple years ago when my mom flew in for the weekend to join us. Though a smaller event than the one in D.C., both feature speakers, exhibitors, vendors, and looooots of food. We’ve enjoyed sandwiches from Nourrie’s Cuisine (a vegan catering company that just opened a restaurant (!) in Baltimore), soul food from NuVegan Cafe, and coffee from Brewing Good, among other delights.

Back when we lived in Madison, we attended the first-ever Madison Vegan Fest. It was so long ago that the details aren’t clear to me anymore, but it was indoors and a bit small. Now, though, it looks like it’s grown quite a lot.

For new vegans especially, I think vegfests are great ways to feel like you’re part of a community, stock up on veg goods (especially since Herbivore Clothing often exhibits at the big ones!), and try local vegan-friendly dining options. While I don’t make it a point to attend every local one anymore, I still like stopping by to re-energize my vegan batteries. :) Do you have any local vegfests?

(P.S. Our internet is fixed! Obviously! :D)

Resources for Fun, Celebratory Vegan Recipes | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Twenty-Eight

Week Four: Occasions Week
We love a good celebration! This week focuses on those special occasions in your life.

I’ll admit it’s difficult feeling celebratory when the weather is grey, cloudy, and wet, and when I’ve been torturing myself by listening to the Kavanaugh assault allegation hearing on and off all day. But maybe that’s the perfect reason to think about — and look at! — fun, bright, celebratory recipes. Let’s go with that! So today I’m sharing a list of some of my favorite inspiring sites and blogs for vegan recipes worth bringing to a celebration… or even just making to cheer yourself up. Let’s go!

Where to find fun, celebratory vegan recipes

What’s your favorite resource for fun, celebratory vegan recipes?

Vegan at Disney World | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Twenty-Seven

Week Four: Occasions Week
We love a good celebration! This week focuses on those special occasions in your life.

Strong opinions abound when it comes to Disney World (and presumably Disneyland, though I have much less experience there!). One of my friends adores it and really does believe it’s the happiest place on earth; even now it’s the destination of choice for most of her family vacations. Then there are the haters, those who claim it’s too expensive/too crowded/not worth the fuss. I can see both sides, but I’ll admit it: I fall in the former category. Would Disney ever be my top choice for a holiday destination? Probably not. But did I complain when, a few years back, my parents decided we’d head there for a big family reunion-type vacation? Absolutely not!

Freckly in Florida. Yes, we all had matching shirts. :D

I really enjoy Disney. I love how immersive an experience it can be, maybe because I have such fond memories of the visits we took there when I was younger. My parents scrimped and saved to take us when I was 9 or 10, and it was, dare I say it, magical. My number-one favorite ride has always been Tower of Terror, though I love all the roller coasters too. I appreciate that there are legitimate adrenaline-boosting rides in the middle of a child- and family-themed park. Yeah, the lines can be horrific, but if you go in the off season or hit certain rides at off hours, you can do just fine.

When we went to Disney in 2015, it was my first time visiting as a vegan. And guess what? I ate juuuust fine. There’s a robust subculture of vegan Disney fans who share all sorts of insider tips about where to find the best animal-free fare. You can find one helpful site here, and Peta has its own guide here.  The much-beloved Dole Whip is vegan, and there’s an all-vegan bakery (!) in Disney Springs. Many of the park’s restaurants have vegan options, too. While I don’t remember every last place we ate, here are a few highlights.

Vegan pizza at Pizza Planet! Toy Story fans will recognize Pizza Planet from the movies, and I love that this super-fun, super-thematically-appropriate Hollywood Studios dining establishment offers personal vegan pizzas. They use Follow Your Heart cheese and serve the veggie-laden pizzas uncut, presumably to avoid cross-contamination in case you have an allergy. I thought getting an entire personal pizza for myself was pretty fun!

An entire multi-course vegan dinner at Trails End at Fort Wilderness! Getting here is no joke; if you drive to Fort Wilderness (a Disney property campground and cabin site), you then have to take a bus to the restaurant area. We made a reservation for our 15-person group in advance and requested special meals for the vegans among us. Chef TJ brought out dish after dish: tofu, samosas, salad, nachos, and the crazy ice cream and marshmallow dessert tower that broke my belly. We were celebrating Steven’s birthday, which made it all extra special!

We also enjoyed burgers in Frontierland, vegan pretzels throughout the park, and undoubtedly other things I’m forgetting. So, yeah: Disney World is a pretty darn good place for vegan eats.

Vegan Desserts worth Celebrating | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Twenty-Six

Week Four: Occasions Week
We love a good celebration! This week focuses on those special occasions in your life.

Oh, friends. I’m struggling with these celebration-themed posts! I have neither the time nor the energy this month to develop new suitably celebratory recipes for the ol’ blog, but I’m fast running out of celebrations to share! In thinking about today’s post, I decided to scroll through all my old photos to find something I’d never shared here before. And, find things I did! So today I present a grab bag of fun, funky, and otherwise impressive never before seen vegan desserts. Enjoy!

To celebrate my nephew Charlie’s first birthday, my sister made this precious ocean-themed cake. Thank goodness Swedish fish are accidentally vegan!

When my dad hit the big 6-0, we threw him a Lego-themed birthday party. (He’s a collector!) I made cupcakes and decked them out with sugar bricks. I think I bought them on Amazon, and they were surprisingly high quality — you could build with them, were you so inclined!

My sweet friend Nancy (of Humane Gardener fame!) brought these absolutely adorable (and thematically appropriate) appetizers and bee-themed cake to an event benefiting a local wildlife rehab group.

When Steven and I celebrated our five-year anniversary a while back, we co-made a five-layer cake to honor it. It was Neopolitan flavored, with layers of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry coated in a vanilla frosting. It was unwieldy and massive and very difficult to decorate (#amateurs) and ultimately not that impressive, but it tasted great.

One of my coworkers makes the most jaw-droppingly beautiful vegan baked goods, which she sells at our biannual employee craft fair and occasionally brings in for other celebrations. These are pretty much professional-level in terms of decoration and taste, and people go wild for them when they’re in the office!

Vegan Butterprint Pyrex cake from Vegan Treats bakery

And finally, you’ve seen this one before, but it’s too impressive not to share: the Pyrex-themed birthday cake Steven had Vegan Treats make for my birthday a few years back!

Which cake is your favorite?!

Vegan Wing Night! | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Twenty-Five

Week Four: Occasions Week
We love a good celebration! This week focuses on those special occasions in your life.

Today I bring to you a celebration of a different sort. Not a soiree in honor of a holiday, a birthday, or any other calendar-specific date, but instead, a celebration of vegan food and the joy that is sharing it with friends.

I am beyond lucky to work with dozens of compassionate, kind vegans. No, not everyone at my organization is veg, but those of us who work there for the mission are almost invariably somewhere on the vegan-vegetarian spectrum. We also have a vegan food policy at work, so that everything people bring in to share should be animal product-free. As such, I’ve found myself in so many situations on the job where I feel like I need to pinch myself: Am I really getting served adorable vegan tarts at a work meeting?! Is a brand-new vegan food truck actually going to stop by the office every Wednesday during the summer?! Did that amazing vegan ice cream company truly just drop off dozens of pints for us to try?!

All real examples, and all amazing. But what’s also amazing is getting to hang out with all those compassionate vegans off the job. Many of our gatherings center around food, whether it’s a friend teaching a small group how to bake with a sourdough starter or Steven’s and my (dare I say it?) legendary vegan holiday parties. So it was not at all surprising to me when my coworker Kristen recently threw an all-vegan wing night at her house. And it was even less surprising when the invitees responded not just with a yes, but with the dish they’d bring to share.

So it was that on a Friday evening in September, I found myself stuffing my face with ALL THE THINGS. We had tortilla chips, lots of chopped veggies, an amaaazing cashew queso, that and ubiquitous classic sour cream-based onion dip, kale salad, potato salad, fruit, and strawberry shortcake for dessert (my contribution). I also stuffed my face with ALL THE WINGS. Kristen’s partner Stevie isn’t vegan himself, but he loves cooking up all sorts of vegan treats — including five (!) flavors of vegan wings. He served up:

  • Buffalo Italian
  • Bacon cheeseburger
  • Classic BBQ
  • Garlic parmesan
  • Old Bay (because, Maryland!)

For the base, Stevie used the best vegan wing out there: May Wah’s veg chicken legs. There’s a local guy who sells faux meats by the (very large) food-service-size package, but he’s only open to the public once a week. It’s not unusual for someone to make a pilgrimage to Terry’s, buy a pillow of drummies, and halve it with another vegan in the group. These soy-based drummies have a fantastic shredded texture and are not too heavy, so you can load up the sauce. (Honestly, I don’t think I ever really ate chicken wings before I went vegetarian, so I have no idea how the texture compares to “real” chicken.) They also have wooden sticks attached, which makes for much easier eating when you’ve got wing sauce dripping all over the place. (Just don’t think about the fact that the sticks are mimicking chicken leg bones. Grosssss.) 

I made sure to load up my plate with one of each flavor, along with some of the salads and a few crudites for crunchin’. (I’d done lots of snacking on the chips and dip before wing time.) All the wing flavors were drool-worthy, but the garlic parmesan won my heart (and tummy). Stevie used Earth Balance and Follow Your Heart’s vegan parm shreds to make a buttery, rich, cheesy, garlicky wing that was comfort food at its best. I need to get me a package of drummies to recreate this one! 

Needless to say, this group of hungry vegans devoured the wings and the accompanying sides and snacks. We rounded out the night with games galore: Connect Four, Jenga, Scattergories. I left around midnight, an unheard-of time for a Friday night. I’m usually exhausted on Fridays, preferring my nights out to take place on Saturday after I’ve recovered from the work week. But this late Friday was totally worth the tiredness. In fact, I’d say vegan wings are always worth it.

Vegan Thanksgivings: A Retrospective | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Twenty-Four

Week Four: Occasions Week
We love a good celebration! This week focuses on those special occasions in your life.

Yes, we’re still a good two months out from (American) Thanksgiving, and no, I’m not planning for it yet. In fact, I think this year will be a relatively low-key holiday. We’re staying in Maryland and going to Steven’s mum’s and stepdad’s for dinner, and they are pretty good at providing animal-free alternatives (like butter-free mashed potatoes and a turkey-juice-free stuffing). I anticipate needing to bring a main, a side, and a dessert, and I’m totally OK with that approach.

Today, I thought I’d look back at my vegan Thanksgivings of the past! Not all of them are documented, but like any good little vegan who always wants to talk about food, I *did* snap photos of most. :)


My first vegan Thanksgiving! Silly newbie food blogger that I was, I have just a single ridiculous photo of my sister and I baking in my parents’ kitchen… and then a long, photo-less post about everything we ate. (Ignore the eggs in that photo; the pie I was making was vegan!) Reading through this post also reminded me of non-vegan Thanksgiving of yore, like when I was newly vegetarian but didn’t think to ask my family to make a gravy sans turkey fat! A gravy-less Thanksgiving is a sad Thanksgiving indeed.


Aww, little Kelly celebrated Thanksgiving alone! This was my first year living in Madison, Wisconsin, where I moved from Rhode Island for my first post-college job. I can’t remember whether my roommate also stayed or whether she flew home to New York State. I (apparently) enjoyed a pretty simple dinner of tofu, salad and some last-minute mashed potatoes I whipped up when the craving struck. I also apparently spent the day knitting and watching movies. That… sounds like a pretty darn good Thanksgiving, actually!


This was a good one! Steven and I were newly dating, and we somehow managed to host my parents, my two siblings, and Steven’s mom in my Madison apartment. They flew in from all corners of the country, and we prepared a massive feast. Too massive a feast, one might suggest in retrospect. I made three main dishes (?!?), five sides, two toppings, and three desserts. The three desserts are obvious and necessary, but three mains and five sides?!? What were we thinking?! But this event was most memorable because it was the first time my parents and Steven’s mom met one another, and it was the first time I prepared a big, all-vegan meal for family. The day taught me an important lesson about letting go in the kitchen and letting people help! No good ever comes from being a kitchen martyr. (I’ll also #neverforget that I clogged the disposal with potato peels and then had to enlist the help of multiple family members to unclog it. Ooops.)


Ahhh, yes. That time Steven and I said “nope!” to making food, flying home, or lifting a finger at all during Thanksgiving and instead went to a big ol’ three-course vegan dinner at the Green Owl, our favorite veg restaurant in Madison. I can’t believe this meal was just $30… midwest prices! (Although we DID get a very measly slice of cheesecake. I would have gladly paid more for a larger piece of dessert!)


Our first Thanksgiving after moving to Maryland. I remember nothing about it and can find no photos. I think we drove to Rhode Island but I have no idea! I do, however, know that we visited Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary earlier in November for their annual “Thanksgiving with the Turkeys.” It was magical. Hundreds of vegans, vegetarians, and veg-sympathetic people converging on a farm animal sanctuary for a potluck dinner. There was so much food! We stuffed our faces then watched the main event: feeding the animals! The turkeys got showered with veggies and other delights, and then the pigs got piles of pumpkins. We had so much fun watching these sweet, smart animals going to town on a feast. It was a frigid day, but it was worth it. A powerful reminder of why I don’t eat animals!


This was a tough one! We’d planned to drive up to RI, but our apartment flooded (!) just before the holiday and so we stayed put. This was also just a couple months after we’d adopted Luna, and we weren’t sure how she would do in a big family gathering. Plus, she was recovering from an abscessed tooth and was a bedraggled mess (you can see her cone o’ shame in the above photo). We got the all-clear to head back to the apartment just in time for a very last-minute dinner, which I think was just a Field Roast and a few quick sides. We were just thankful our apartment and Luna were both on the mend!


We started the season with another trip to Poplar’s Thanksgiving event. I remember this one as being much warmer than our first visit, thankfully! It was almost overwhelmingly crowded. While my crowd-averse self did not care for the hordes, I also realize how amazing it is that hundreds of people would come to a very pro-vegan event like this! We followed up our Poplar trip with a drive up to Rhode Island, where we enjoyed massive quantities of vegan food. The day after Thanksgiving was unseasonably warm, and we decided to #optout of Black Friday shopping (not that I EVER partake) and went for a family walk by the shore. My favorite memory from that day? My sister zipping Luna up in her vest when Luna got tired of walking. I miss my pup so much.


We again drove up to Rhode Island to celebrate. These days, holidays in Rhode Island are spectacular since my mostly vegan family members contribute all sorts of delicious veg dishes. My planner of a mother comes up with a list in advance, but it usually has a few blank spots: “Ian: ???” Although my brother doesn’t always make it back to RI for Thanksgiving (nor do I, for that matter), when he does, he’ll whip something up nearly at the last minute. That usually involves a quick run to the grocery store the day before. I say “quick,” but if you’ve ever hit up an American grocery store just before Thanksgiving, you know that it is never quick. I refuse to make those ingredient runs and always provide a list of what I need ahead of time! This year we had a Field Roast and plenty of sides, along with some beautiful sweet treats.

The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion


Steven and I hosted at our place; it was our first time hosting at our new(ish) house. Steven’s mom and stepdad came and seemed to enjoy all the food. I cooked almost exclusively from Isa’s Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook and had sooo many leftovers… which is always a good thing! We tried a veg roast from Trader Joe’s and it was not bad at all. Other highlights included creamy whipped potatoes, green bean casserole, and an orange-y cranberry sauce.

So, there we go. Nine years of vegan Thanksgivings, all of them special in their own way. And all of them delicious.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link.

Cakes for a Thirtieth Birthday | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Twenty-Three

Week Four: Occasions Week
We love a good celebration! This week focuses on those special occasions in your life.

On a rainy, chilly autumn Sunday, who’s thinking about celebrations?! Not me. So let’s go back a month or so to mid-August, when we celebrated Steven’s 30th birthday.

First, we celebrated his actual birthday with gifts and cake (and a homemade birthday card, per our tradition). When Steven requested a chocolate and raspberry cake, I knew exactly which one to make: the Raspberry Blackout Cake from Vegan with a VengeanceTwo layers of rich chocolate cake are sandwiched with raspberry jam and ganache, then topped with even more rich, fudgy ganache. Plus, you bake jam right into the cakes for added sweet berry deliciousness. I love this cake and I was glad for the chance to make it again. My presentation may not be impressive, but the flavor certainly was! (Steven’s mom also treated us to brunch at Barking Mad that weekend, which was lovely.)

The festivities continued a couple weeks later with birthday bowling! It was a semi-surprise; I didn’t tell Steven the exact nature of our “fun birthday activity” until we were on the way there, although he did know we were going to be celebrating with friends. I booked two lanes for two hours, and we had a super-fun time bowling with a small group. Afterward, we headed home, where my dear friends Sara and Sabrina had secretly festooned the house with all sorts of decorations, childhood photos of Steven (!), and a hilarious Office-themed sign (above). I’d purchased a vegan ice cream cake from Roots market, our local natural foods/veg-friendly grocer, which everyone enjoyed. (I failed to photograph it, but it was pretty!) We had a wonderful night.

Our final celebration took place earlier this month. We were in Rhode Island to celebrate a million different birthdays: my aunt’s 70th, my grandma’s 85th, and my cousin’s 21st. So my parents figured, why not celebrate Steven’s 30th as well?! We picked up burritos and brought them to a local craft brewery, where we played arcade games and drank beers with family (and one of my very best friends, who was able to stop by for a little while). Then, the next evening, my sister served up a homemade vegan ice cream cake! She used crushed Oreos between layers of soy- and coconut-based ice creams, then topped the whole thing with a layer of So Delicious’ CocoWhip. It was heavenly. And it was better than the store-bought cake I’d served at his actual birthday party! I need to steal my sister’s technique.

All in all, we had three celebrations for Steven’s 30th. One per decade! Good thing he’s worth all the fuss. ;)

This post contains affiliate links.

Resources for Being Vegan on a Budget | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Twenty-Two

Week Three: Budget Week
This week, we’re going to prove once and for all that veganism is affordable!

And just like that, we’re on the last day of budget week! I’ve had fun perusing the internet to find the best budget-friendly vegan recipes and resources, so I thought I’d share them — and offer some tips of my own. Please share your best tips, tricks, and resources here too!

Where to find cheap vegan recipes

I hope these resources are helpful, and I hope you’ll share your own favorites with me!

This post contains affiliate links.

31p Vegan Moussaka from Cooking on a Bootstrap | VeganMoFo Day Twenty-One

Week Three: Budget Week
This week, we’re going to prove once and for all that veganism is affordable!

I didn’t actually intend for all the non-original recipes I made this week to come from Cooking on a Bootstrap, but here we are on Thursday and, yes, I’m making another one. Or to be more accurate, Steven is making another one. Made another one. Feeling the beginning of dinner burnout (not to mention knowing I’d be tired from a particularly busy day at work getting our next issue of the magazine off to the printer), I asked him if he could take the lead on dinner last night. He agreed. I sent a couple recipe options, all of them featuring eggplants (aubergines to you Brits!) because I had bought two at the farmers market last weekend and wanted to use them before they went squishy. Steven’s choice: the vegan moussaka from Cooking on a Bootstrap.

My experience with moussaka is limited. When we lived in Wisconsin, our favorite co-op frequently featured a vegan moussaka at the hot bar. It was rich and creamy and filling and a total comfort food. But I don’t think I’ve ever made it myself, nor had I tried a dairy-based version before going vegan. So I was pretty pleased when Steven chose this recipe. It seems that my streak of not having to make moussaka (but still getting to enjoy it!) continues!

Alas, my dream of another uber-creamy moussaka would remain just that: a dream. The recipe simply didn’t yield enough white sauce to cover the lentil and eggplant filling; the sauce got absorbed into the filling and had entirely disappeared by the time we sat down to eat. The scant sauce also meant that there wasn’t enough left to cover the top layer of eggplant slices; they remained just a tad dry up until the point of serving, when I mixed them in with the filling. Perhaps our robust American eggplants were too large compared to daintier British aubergines, and that discrepancy upset the filling-to-sauce ratio? It’s possible. Perhaps offering a weight measurement for the aubergines would help. (Steven also notes that the recipe didn’t specify which size casserole dish to use or when to add the mustard.)

All that said, this was not by any means an unsatisfying dish. But moussaka it was not. Better to call it a lentil and eggplant bake, then, and enjoy it as such.